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Nominations open for north-east entrants to two prestigious farming awards

By David Porter

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Champions of Scotland’s beef and sheep industry are being urged to submit nominations for the prestigious 2021 AgriScot Scotch Beef and Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year awards.

Resuming after a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards, sponsored by Thorntons Solicitors and supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), set out to reward Scottish farms which exemplify the best in beef and sheep production.

Recognising the achievements, innovation and forward thinking of producers, the awards help raise the profile of farmers who work hard to produce top-quality Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI.

Russel, Margaret, Suzi and Alistair Kingan, previous winners.
Russel, Margaret, Suzi and Alistair Kingan, previous winners.

Alistair and Suzi along with Margaret and Russell Kingan of Kingan Farms, near Dumfries, were awarded AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award in 2019, the last time the competition was held.

A family partnership, Kingan Farms is a beef finishing system with a turnover of approximately 1400 cattle per year on 475-hectares of owned and tenanted land across four locations.

“Winning the AgriScot Scotch Beef Farm of the Year award was just fantastic", said Suzi Kingan.

"For ourselves and the team, it was really important to be acknowledged for all the hard work that we do,”

Alistair Kingan added: “There are other farmers out there that are doing equally as good a job as us and they should stand proud and put themselves forward for these awards.

"A lot of people don’t really understand what our day-to-day jobs are and the passion that’s in our industry.

Their delight was mirrored by Kevin Stewart from Sharpitlaw Farm in Kelso who was announced as AgriScot Scottish Sheep Farm of the Year in 2019.

Operating on 500-hectares across three predominantly upland units from a base at Sharpitlaw, the farms carry 1250 ewes, 315 gimmers, 950 ewe lambs, 1080 feeding lambs.

“We applied for the award because we knew we did things a bit differently, but we also knew we were pretty good at it.", said Kevin.

“Winning it was wonderful recognition for a lot of years of hard work, not just by me but by the people that work with me as well.”

The recipients of both of the 2021 awards will each receive a £500 cheque plus a £250 voucher to celebrate their success at a restaurant in the Scotch Beef Club – the club run by QMS with members committed to serving top quality Scotch produce.

The awards will be presented at AgriScot at Ingliston on Wednesday, November 17.

The awards also recognise innovation in the red meat and livestock industry, which QMS Chair Kate Rowell says is central to an exciting, world-class future.

Ms Rowell said: "Red meat producers are driving some leading agri-innovation, on-farm and through the supply chain and the AgirScot awards are an opportunity to recognise some of the best of our industry and showcase the fantastic and progressive stock management skills the industry is renowned for,"

Robert Neill, AgriScot Chairman encouraged beef and sheep farmers across Scotland to nominate someone they know or apply themselves for either award.

He said: “No matter the size or location of your farm, breed of livestock, or grazing system, we strongly encourage entries from producers across the country.”

To nominate a farm for either award, email the details to lstrang@qmscotland.co.uk.

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